Bowling Green 82, UWM 68: Patrick Baldwin Jr. misses most of the second half with leg injury

Todd Rosiak
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
DeAndre Gholston led UWM with 19 points in the absence of Patrick Baldwin Jr. for most of the second half.

UW-Milwaukee suffered a pair of losses on Tuesday.

Not only did the Panthers fall to Bowling Green, 82-68, in the Fort Myers (Florida) Tip-Off at Suncoast Credit Union Arena, but they also played most of the second half without Patrick Baldwin Jr. as the result of a left leg injury.

Baldwin was hurt in a first-half collision, limped off the court and after playing briefly following intermission took a seat on the bench for the remainder of what was another frustrating loss for UWM (1-3).

He finished with eight points on 3-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds in 17 minutes for the Panthers, who will take on Yale at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the losers' side of the bracket.

Box score:Bowling Green 82, UW-Milwaukee 68

Considering the quick turnaround, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see the star freshman sit the game out.

"The defense tried to take a charge, moved underneath him and I think he may have rolled his ankle a little bit," coach Pat Baldwin said. "He tried to give it a go afterwards. He came back in the second half, but got a little cold at halftime and just wasn't able to go.

"I didn't want to chance it. We'll find out what it is and if there's anything else going on, but I don't think it's serious."

DeAndre Gholston scored a team-high 19 points for UWM, which shot just 39% while allowing a 26-point outburst by Daeqwon Plowden.

Ten players scored for the Panthers, but none managed double figures other than Gholston.

A three by Baldwin opened the second-half scoring and gave the Panthers a 39-37 lead.

It was short-lived, however, as the Falcons ran off seven straight points and and 14 of the next 16 to quickly make it a double-digit deficit for UWM at 51-41 with 13 minutes 42 seconds remaining.

With Baldwin on the bench, the run ballooned to 19-2 for Bowling Green to make it a 56-41 game before Donovan Newby's three stopped the bleeding and gave the Panthers their first points over a span of 7:26.

The Falcons answered with a three, and after Vin Baker Jr. hit from long range Bowling Green again matched with a three of its own to keep the Panthers from cutting any further into the deficit.

While the competition level was obviously much different, Tuesday marked the second time in as many games UWM allowed a run out of the locker room to start the second half to essentially decide the game.

"They had some opportunities where they would miss a shot and then rebound and put it back in, or get another possession and then score," Baldwin said. "Patrick hit the three and we took the lead, then they came right back down and hit a three on the next possession.

"I hate to say at that point that took the wind out of our sails, but it shifted momentum a little bit and then they went on a little run and we had to call timeout. We just have to be tougher in those situations."

Baldwin, who managed 13 points and three rebounds over 34 minutes in the Panthers' 81-45 blowout loss at Florida on Nov. 18, had a rough start in this one.

He missed his first four shots and then departed following the collision – an anxious moment for the freshman and the Panthers considering a left ankle injury cost him almost his entire senior season at Sussex Hamilton.

Baldwin eventually did return and hit his next two shots, a three-pointer that tied it at 34-34 with 2:49 remaining and then a layup with 1:10 left that capped the first-half scoring for both teams and sent UWM into halftime trailing, 37-36.

He hit just 2 of 10 shots overall and 1 of 4 from three-point range, but was still a factor by hauling down nine rebounds in 15 minutes.

"I was encouraged to see him back out there," Baldwin said of his son's brief second-half return. "He made his shot when he first went out there after we ran a play for him, then after that he just couldn't go.

"The best thing for us was just to take it slow with that."

Gholston's 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting led all scorers, and Baker came off the bench to contribute five points. Nine players scored in all for the Panthers, who were facing the Falcons for the first time since 2010 and just the third time at the Division I level.

UWM got three-pointers from five players in the first half and also hit as many free throws (seven) as Bowling Green attempted.